Bright Ideas

Some days it may seem as though we have too many choices and not enough ideas. Ever run to the grocery store to buy a bottle of ketchup? Once upon a time, you had two choices: name brand or store brand. Pretty simple. Then we started reading the list of ingredients. Now you have to choose between Sugar or Sugar-Free. Low Carb versus Fat and Calories. Sea Salt or Low Sodium. Artificial coloring. Natural Spices. Preservatives. Wheat. Nuts. And the list goes on. Is it any wonder it takes forever to buy groceries? It can be exhausting. Perhaps that’s another reason people use Instacart® and DoorDash®. When you cook at home, in your own kitchen, you are in charge. So many foods and ingredients can be substituted to appeal to your lifestyle and palate. It’s all about your ideas and balance. I encourage you to make substitutions in the recipes I offer without sacrificing taste. I do it all the time; you can, too.

Some of my posts have been favored by the “Food Network” on Twitter (Snapshotsincursive @DornaGail) as well as Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa, on Instagram (gail _dorna). You can even find me on Pinterest at Gail Dorna. I’d love to connect with you there as well. I also met Chef Michelle Tribble of Hell’s Kitchen reality cooking show. Fun times. Experience different flavors and textures one bite at a time. Catch a glimpse of “Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Bright Ideas!” This remarkable journey of the palate is unique because it gives me a few moments with you. Thanks very much to all of my guests and followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement.

Quite Tasty Peanut Butter Cookies

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Waste Not, Want Not: Quite Tasty Peanut Butter Cookies! One of the benefits of touching base with friends in the blogosphere is sharing blessings and paying it forward. Today’s recipe gives a “shout out” to Linda, The Dutch Baker*. She featured a fabulous peanut butter cookie recipe that absolutely made my mouth drool. So much so, I ran to my kitchen to insure I had all the necessary ingredients to whip up a batch. That’s one of the advantages of social distancing, in my opinion. Some even refer it as “stress baking” or “anxiety baking”. Quarantine cooking has even become a thing. It releases tension, challenges our skills, and satisfies the craving for a reward. Whatever way you choose to look at it, we’re all in this together.

QUITE TASTY PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

Ingredients:

1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

1 egg, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

White sugar for rolling (optional)

Instructions:

In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt. Set aside. In a food processor, cream softened butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add crunchy peanut butter. Pulse to blend. Add egg and vanilla extract. Mix well. Slowly add flour mixture only until slightly combined. Do not over mix. Transfer cookie dough to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The following day, remove bowl from refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. By the teaspoonful, form the dough into balls. Roll in white sugar. Arrange on baking sheet. Bake 11 minutes. Remove pan and allow cookies to cool 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Cool peanut butter cookies completely before storing in an airtight container.

*Linda, The Dutch Baker, featured this recipe first. You may visit her at

http://thedutchbaker.wordpress.com/2020/03/18

Waste Not, Want Not

If you needed a reason to stay home, despite the current climate, turn social distancing to your favor. After all, your place is a Safe Haven. Now may be the time to expand your creativity in the kitchen by being budget-friendly, challenging your cooking skills, and focus your energy on healthy alternatives. Take a look in the pantry, the refrigerator, and the freezer. People buy food they like in the first place. Right? Have fun when pulling meals together. Pretend you’re a celebrity chef and make cooking a choice of entertainment. Display some of your placemats, napkins, and dishes to keep it fun and interesting. Some of my posts have been favored by the “Food Network” on Twitter (Snapshotsincursive @DornaGail) as well as Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa, on Instagram (gail _dorna). You can even find me on Pinterest at Gail Dorna. I’d love to connect with you there as well. I also met Chef Michelle Tribble of Hell’s Kitchen reality cooking show. Fun times. Experience different flavors and textures one bite at a time. Catch a glimpse of “Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Waste Not, Want Not!” This remarkable journey of the palate is unique because it gives me a few moments with you. Thanks very much to all of my guests and followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement. As of this writing, WordPress has acknowledged that I’m on a 1853-day streak. Let’s keep it going!

Enjoyable Eats

It’s true that every living thing needs food in order to thrive. Perhaps that is my justification for being a foodie. I actually “like” planning, cooking, and serving food in wonderful ways. I believe if something looks appealing on the plate, well it kinda has to taste good, doesn’t it? After all, we devour food first with our eyes. That’s how our body signals the brain that we’re going to experience something delicious, thus making it enjoyable. Anyone can be a gourmet chef…like me. lol. Some of my posts have been favored by the “Food Network” on Twitter (Snapshotsincursive @DornaGail) as well as Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa, on Instagram (gail _dorna). You can even find me on Pinterest at Gail Dorna. I’d love to connect with you there as well. I also met Chef Michelle Tribble of Hell’s Kitchen reality cooking show. Fun times. Experience different flavors and textures one bite at a time. Catch a glimpse of “Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Enjoyable Eats!” This remarkable journey of the palate is unique because it gives me a few moments with you. Thanks very much to all of my friends and followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement. Food and praise are both things I find I associate with positive feelings. And I don’t intend to take either for granted.

Start Smart

The secret to a good cook is pretty basic. Look to their kitchen for essential tools and you will discover why food preparation comes as naturally as breathing. Start Smart. For instance, a chef’s knife makes short work for cutting and chopping. Wooden spoons are perfect for stirring and mixing, plus they look great in a counter caddy. My son recently introduced me to the handy-dandy fat separator for making unbelievable lump-free gravy. How did I not know of this? It’s pure genius! I could go on and on about food processors, dutch ovens, spiralizers, and rice cookers, but you get the idea. Recently I froze some Farmers Market corn by removing the kernels from the cob with my corn peeler. (There really is such a thing.) Now you know…anyone can be a gourmet chef…like me. lol. Some of my posts have been favored by the “Food Network” on Twitter (Snapshotsincursive @DornaGail) as well as Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa, on Instagram (gail _dorna). You can even find me on Pinterest at Gail Dorna. I’d love to connect with you there as well. I also met Chef Michelle Tribble of Hell’s Kitchen reality cooking show. Fun times. Experience different flavors and textures one bite at a time. Catch a glimpse of “Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Start Smart.” This remarkable journey of the palate is unique because it gives me a few moments with you. Thanks very much to all of my guests and followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement. As of this writing, WordPress has acknowledged that I’m on a 2622-day streak. Let’s keep it going!

Fab Foodstuff

In a world of instant gratification, it may be tough to come up with new ideas for meals in a flash, let alone prepare them at home before someone in the house hits “pizza” on the speed dial. Truth is, there’s a world of fabulous options available. Let me help you, since I think about meal-planning practically all the time. If you open your mind to flavorful combinations, I promise you won’t be disappointed. Time flies on this journey of the palate. Thanks very much to all my followers on the website http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement. Follow me on Facebook at Gail Dorna, on Instagram @gail_dorna and Twitter @ Snapshotsincursive. What’s cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? It’s as simple as A-B-C. One of my passions is being at home in my own country kitchen. No matter how much we travel, I relish the thought of returning there to create something delicious. I adore time-honored traditions using tried-and-true recipes. Yet, I often never think twice about tweaking old favorites or modifying others to suit the inner craving of the moment. The recipes you will find here in the next several weeks can be prepared very easily. Feel free to contact me with questions. Now take a deep breath, inhale the aromas, and join me on a tasteful journey entitled, “EATING MY WAY THROUGH THE ALPHABET: FAB FOODSTUFF!”

Cheerful Choices

Escape the pandemic for a taste of cheerful choices that can be prepared with basic kitchen cookware and family-friendly ingredients. After all, you have enough rules to follow once you leave the house. Find your spotlight in the power of food. As your body calls out for comfort in the foods that trigger feel-good chemicals, let go of the guilty feelings society labels “taboo”. No one knows you or your family better than you do. It’s what makes you their favorite.

And speaking of favorite…Some of my posts have been noticed by the “Food Network” and Le Cordon Bleu on Twitter (Snapshotsincursive @DornaGail) as well as Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa, on Instagram (gail _dorna). You can even find me on Pinterest at Gail Dorna. I’d love to connect with you there as well. I also met Chef Michelle Tribble of Hell’s Kitchen reality cooking show. Fun times. Experience different flavors and textures as you eat with your eyes. Catch a glimpse of “Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Cheerful Choices!” This remarkable journey of the palate is serendipitous because it gives me a few moments with you. Thanks very much to all of my guests and followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement. You’re the best.

Celebrate Your Accomplishments

Snapshotsincursive began shortly after the death of my father. It was a way for me to express my love of cooking as well as my desire to put thoughts into words. The blog allowed me to share my interests in writing, travel, photography, and spirituality. Maintaining the blog involves commitment whether the posts are done on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Everyone has accomplishments, however not everyone feels comfortable talking about them. You should. God has given us gifts to extol. Perhaps that is why WordPress* offers encouraging milestones along the way. My heart is humbled to acknowledge the success of doing something I truly enjoy. You should, too. Thank you to each and every one who has been my friend along the way. Ben Franklin said it best, “Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?”

*Keep in mind, these numbers reflect bloggers who actively participate in WordPress, not the general public.

Country Casual Cravings

Going through a kitchen remodel has to be one of the most challenging home improvements ever. Symmetry and balance are important. Changing the layout was not an option since it remains functional as an open-ended galley kitchen including a central corridor. In fact, it all began being a simple goal to modernize the kitchen cabinets from 1970s dark wood to the bright airiness of antique white. As often happens, one thing leads to another. Before long we were updating stainless steel appliances, replacing countertops, leaving the double sink behind in lieu of a large single basin, choosing black matte cabinet pulls with copper accents, and more. One constant remained: the authentic dark hardwood flooring. To this day, it endures as the solid foundation from the time it was installed. Now that the kitchen remodel is complete, is it a state-of-the-art gourmet kitchen, you wonder. Not at all. But it has been designed around my needs, which makes it perfect. And speaking of perfect…Some of my posts have been favored by “Le Cordon Bleu” and the “Food Network” on Twitter (Snapshotsincursive @DornaGail) as well as Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa, on Instagram (gail _dorna). You can even follow me on Pinterest at Gail Dorna. I’d love to connect with you. I also met Chef Michelle Tribble of Hell’s Kitchen reality cooking show. Fun times. Experience different flavors and textures as you eat with your eyes. Catch a glimpse of “What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen: Country Casual Cravings.” This remarkable journey of the palate is unique because it gives me a few moments with you. Thanks very much to all of my guests and followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and daily words of encouragement. I couldn’t have come this far without you.